Danish central bank lowers growth forecast to 0.5%

Denmark's central bank on Wednesday revised downwards its 2013 growth forecast by 0.3 points to 0.5 percent, citing sluggish economic activity.

"Activity in the Danish economy remains below its potential," the central bank said in a statement.

In March, the bank forecast growth of 0.8 percent.

At the end of May, the Danish government also revised downwards its 2013 growth forecast, from 1.2 percent to 0.5 percent.

"Considering that financial conditions are strongly expansionary, the economic situation does not warrant an easing of fiscal policy, even though the normalisation of private-sector demand has been protracted," central bank governor Lars Rohde said in a statement.

"Instead, focus should be on increasing private and public sector productivity," he said.

Unlike its Scandinavian neighbours, Denmark has been dipping in and out of recession since the financial meltdown of 2008, as its banks buckled under a more than 20-percent fall in property prices and toxic loans to debt-laden farmers.

Its domestic consumption has stalled, as a crippling debt crisis ravages the European economy.

The central bank meanwhile left its 2014 and 2015 growth forecasts unchanged, at 1.7 percent for both years.